Jesse Jackson talks immigration on CR

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Is it just me, or was Jesse Jackson delivering a thoughtful, coherent message on the Colbert Report Tuesday night? I know I’m late getting to this, but I wanted to find the video before I posted it. Check the Comedy Central site to watch, but here are a few tidbits, starting with one on undocumented workers:

Well, many of them have been sent for — they’re coming across the border.

As so long as they were working for low wages, working without health insurance, as long as they were picking lettuce, and tomatoes, and grapes, and in the corners, they were just fine.

Once they started asking for the right to organize, and dignity and health care, then they became a problem

The fact is these are human beings who deserve human rights, and we cannot be the nation we’re supposed to be unless we afford them human rights. You’re not going to send 11 million people back across the border.

Jackson also touches on our relationship with Mexico, which, along with Canada, is one of our two largest trading partners:

We share 2,000 miles of border with Mexico, we’re either going to lift them up, or in substance they’re going to lower us down. I say build bridges and not walls.

This is absolutely right. We can close our border all we want, but that still leaves more than 25 million undocumented workers (not every undocumented worker is a Mexican) in the U.S. We simply cannot send them all home. If we don’t provide a route to citizenship, we relegate them to second-class status, with all the consequences of that action: poverty, poor educational attainment, and discrimination.

In addition, we encourage businesses to exploit them, yet whine about the jobs they take away from Americans.

Anyway, I spoke with Sen. Bingaman yesterday afternoon (see the Daily Press today) and he said there would likely be no action on an immigration bill in the Senate this week. So, I guess we’ll see what goes down over the weekend.

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